Jeff Knorek from Nova Scotia
April 14, 2010
A brief moment in time
My memory of these two Richfield shows is that the first set of the first show and the second set of the second show were the strongest sets. I am in total agreement that both of these nights are overlooked because of the Wild Rumpus at MSG
which followed. This is a shame because Jerry, Bob and Phil were really focused for these two shows as Vince hadn't found his voice yet, and so they ~sound~ focused, not sloppy.
Additionally, I found that the inclusion of Bruce Hornsby led to a cluttered mix far too often, and so these two nights hark back to a simpler time before the keyboards played such a vital role in their sound (I point to the '78-'79 Keith shows
for reference, when he was at times invisible). By the time Bruce departed, Vince had found his voice and Bob Bralove had come a long way to tweeking Vince's MIDI toys; these two shows are therefore unmistakably simpler and guitar &
It remains a loss to us all that Grateful Dead switched to digital sound for their PA and monitor mixes on the very tour that presented an established Vince without Bruce; I sincerely
believe that Vince was a far better keyboard player and singer than Brant could ever hope to be; my only gripe with him is that he did not use a Hammond B3. In my opinion the move away from analog sound cruelly stirred Vince's contribution to the band into the souless digital stew that
became their mix....forever more not only did they need to be interacting with each other well enough to create a good show, they needed to be interacting with a sound system that far exceeded their collective ability to harness. A truely good set, just one set, was a hard reach. A good show was damn near impossible...and this is coming from a fan of the certain '92 and '93 tours.
But these two shows are not so much about Vince, for all his courage, as they are about Jerry, Bob, and Phil. The Eyes>Estimated>Terrapin shall show you why this is.
Technical note; the PA drop when Jerry is singing "wonderin' where the nuthatch winters" in Eyes is not reflected in the SBD...you hear the crowd cheer after this line in the Matrix for no apparent reason..having been there at that moment I have to tell you it was cool to hear Jerry sing into the mic for a brief moment with no PA for drive the volume...we could still hear him, and so we cheered.
One final point...Vince was working from sheet music that was in a spiral-bound folder for these shows (he took it backstage with him after the first sets)...just prior to the encore after
the band entered the stage Jerry had a rather animated conversation with Vince over at Vince's position on the stage, as if to coach him on what they needed him to do for _One More Saturday Night_...Jerry was halfway back to his own position on the stage when he seemed to remember another point to make to Vince, and so he strolled back to him and said something more, gesturing with his right hand...we can never know what Jerry said to Vince...perhaps is was something along the lines of "Play it Barrel House-like".
Five stars for the presentation, again, and five stars because you need to hear this and draw your own conclusions.
February 19, 2009
Really nice improvement on an overlooked show
This was the money show of the two Richfield shows in 9/90, and the new matrix is a great combination of SBD clarity and especially the AUD energy that was so much a part of this show.
First set highlights include the Bucket / Sugaree pairing to open and the Loser / Cassidy /Deal sequence to close. But this is a second set show. The pre-drums is just stunning. And how reassuring that was after Brent's passing. These Wellnick-only shows are often passed over in favor of the Hornsby/Wellnick stuff that was right around the corner. This is a mistake. This show, especially, is one of the better shows of the entire fall tour. Just listen to the Eyes->Estimated->Terrapin bit if you don't believe me.